Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Meet the Heroine of One Night in Napa!


OK folks, it's two weeks and counting until One Night in Napa releases in ebook, so here's today's excerpt. Meet Kira March, the unconventional heroine who has spent the last few years trying to get as far away as possible from her former life. Of course, in a matter of hours, she's going to be thrust back into it, but for now, here's one of the first times we meet her...

A towel wrapped around her head, Kira stepped from the tiny bathroom into the kitchen of the apartment she and Isha shared.

“What the hell is that?”

“What?”

The moon-face woman pointed. “You got another one?”

Kira glanced down and ran a fingertip over the small black symbol on her hip that peeked over the top of her boy shorts. It still stung, though she’d had it inked there almost a week ago.

“Oh. Yeah. Moment of weakness. And too much sangria with Scotty.”

“You get it downtown?”

Kira nodded.

“They’re not supposed to do it if you’re drunk.”
“I wasn’t, not really.” Just stupid, she added silently. She’d given in to memory on whim and a dare, and for the first two days, she regretted it completely. Most of the time, she had no desire to remember the life before she came to Yuba City, and before she became Kira March. Yet another reason not to consider that job offer in LA. At all.

Isha frowned. “What is it? Some kind of Chinese symbol?”

“Greek letters. ‘Gnothi sauton’,” Kira said, reading the words upside down.

“A sorority?”

Kira laughed. “Nope. It’s a phrase that was supposedly carved into the temple of the Oracle at Delphi.”

“What the—where?”

“In ancient Greece. It means ‘know thyself’.”

Isha frowned at her. “Huh. That’s pretty philosophical.”
Kira shrugged. “I guess. But I liked it.” The tattoo artist had scripted the tiny Greek letters perfectly; the entire phrase spanned less than an inch across her skin. Still, it was there, branded to her. Forever.

Isha picked up the remote and pointed it at the eight-inch-screen television in the corner by the refrigerator. “The View is doing their whole show on Edoardo Morelli this morning.” She propped her elbows on the countertop. “God, he’s gorgeous. Did you see him in Another Tomorrow?” She sighed and chewed on the end of her braid. “Just heard he has another movie coming out later this year.” She wriggled in anticipation. “I can’t wait. I don’t know if it’s in Italian or English, but I’ll tell you, I don’t even care. I’ll read subtitles all night long for that man. He’s so…um…yummy, you know?”

Kira cringed. ‘Yummy’? How old are you, twelve?”

“Shut up. You know what I mean.” Isha stared from the television to Kira and then back. “See, if you took that assistant job in LA, maybe you’d run into him.”

Kira shivered. She couldn’t think of anything worse.

“Or maybe you’d get to work with him. You really don’t think he’s hot?”

“Nope.” The show’s hosts giggled and cooed as they watched a trailer for Morelli’s latest movie. Kira grunted. Was she the only twenty-five-year-old in the modern world who didn’t find that man attractive? “Foreign good looks are overrated.”

Isha laughed. “Whatever. Not like you would kick him out of your bed.”

Kira didn’t answer. She ran one finger along her eyebrow ring and watched the shadows of the television turn from yellow to blue to brown and back again.

Isha was eyeing her. “Is this one of your moments again?”

“My ‘moments’? What does that mean?”

“Sorry. That’s not…I just meant…you never knew your dad, right?”

“Not really.” Kira stuck her glasses back on.

“So this is a father thing.”

“A ‘father thing’?”

“Yeah. You go through these phases where you super-analyze all the other father-daughter relationships you come across. ‘This one’s unhealthy.’ ‘That one’s smothering.’ ‘Edoardo Morelli’s an ass for letting his only child run away.’” Isha paused. “But she was eighteen, not ten. She knew what she was doing.”

“Maybe.”

“Listen, I don’t blame you. I don’t—I would never know what that’s like, growing up without knowing my parents. And I’m not saying it’s right, if he really did abandon her. Or force her to leave. But…” Isha’s gaze moved back to the television, where the face of the movie star filled the screen—dark eyes, dark hair with a touch of gray at the temples, laugh lines sketched across tanned skin. “I just don’t think I could say one way or the other, you know, whether he’s a bad guy. Just because his daughter up and left one day. Maybe he did try to find her. Maybe he followed her. Maybe she’s the one who didn’t want to be found.”

The camera zoomed in for another close-up of the actor, and Kira ducked into the bathroom while she still had a chance. She wondered if it was time to start thinking about moving again. Four years was the longest she’d spent planted anywhere, and though Isha seemed the nicest of the roommates she’d had, it was only a matter of time before she started stringing details together and found out who Kira really was.

She opened the blinds to let in some light. Three fresh coats of mascara, eye liner, and lip gloss, and she’d be set. She tried to keep it on the light side during the day, ever since her boss told her the Goth look was scaring off customers.

It’s not Goth, she wanted to tell him. She wasn’t depressed or suicidal; she didn’t listen to Marilyn Manson and she rarely wore all black. She wasn’t into sadomasochism, either. It wasn’t a Gothic look at all. She wasn’t sure exactly what it was. It’s just me, just vintage Kira March.

Problem was, she wasn’t sure exactly who that was, either.

3 comments:

Tamsyn said...

Great excerpt, Allie! Love tats too but too much a wimp to do one myself. :o)

Linda said...

This looks like a VERY interesting read! Thanks for the excerpt!

Virginia said...

Great excerpt, sounds like a great read!